Swamp Thing is getting some respect. I walked into Walmart and found that the Swamp Thing Halloween Horror special was back on the top shelf of the collectibles aisle near the end of the aisle, while the rest of the DC Walmart comics were still on a lower shelf, a few feet in the from the end and much harder to casually see. And yes, that means that Swamp Thing was released in its own display box. Even more interestingly, there were 20 copies in the box, the most I’ve encountered for an initial release among the DC/Walmart titles. Assuming this hit all 3,000 stores that are supposed to be participating in the program, that means there ought to be 60,000 copies in circulation. I’d say that’s probably a combination of confidence on the part of DC and probably a desire to see what happens as they drop a larger amount of copies all at once.
This is possibly a more appropriate and accessible comic for a general audience than the #4s of the current ongoing Walmart titles that are about to be released. Nothing is “to be continued. (Although the new Azzarello/Capullo story does seem to hint that there could be more coming.) Nothing is part 2 or part 4 of an ongoing serial. And it’s seasonal, at least for a few weeks. So we’ll see how this goes and assume the upcoming holiday special will probably have a similar roll out.
Advertising-wise, there really aren’t many ads in this comic. More story pages for your $4.99 than in the normal ongoing titles. The back cover is for the upcoming Morrison/Sharp Green Lantern series. There’s an ad for the Alan Moore era Saga of the Swamp Thing trade paperbacks, which would be appropriate in a Swamp Thing Halloween Special. That ad is branded as DC Vertigo, which may or may not be notable, since the special is only branded as DC. There’s the comic shop locator ad. That’s it for advertising.
As for the Superman Giant and Justice League Giant issues that DC has been listing as on sale today… they were nowhere to be seen. Apparently, they are arriving separately from the Halloween special, so perhaps later this weekend? It’s a bit of a puzzle, because this particular Walmart has thus far had the comics on the Friday of the release weekend, so something’s changed with either the delivery schedule or the publishing schedule.
What’s left? Well, as you can see there’s some aging and still unsold Rebirth launch-era 3-packs and then what’s left of the #3 issues. (No more #1s or #2 on the shelf.)
- 5 copies of Superman #3
- 9 copies of Batman #3
- 4 copies of Justice League #3
- 8 copies of Teen Titans #3
It’s not clear to me that this particular Walmart ever had any restocking done on the #3s. If that’s the case, then Justice League and Superman are the most popular titles, with two very important caveats:
- Superman Giant #3 and Justice League Giant #3 have been on the shelf two weeks longer
- Superman Giant #3 and Justice League Giant #3 started out on the top shelf. By the time Batman Giant #3 and Teen Titans Giant #3 came out, the box was moved to a lower shelf that’s not really visible unless you’re already in aisle and looking down. Visibility might be a factor here.